Chapter 13: Executions

"She sure is a thing of beauty ain't she?" asked Walters waving a bottle of brandy in the air. Everyone looked towards the nearly completed ship and nodded their heads. Ben however found some dissatisfaction, not with the work but with Walters' attitude. "It's not even night and you are already drunk. Sometimes I really wonder how you will live out your next forty years."

"Who said I have that long?"

"Come now Walters," Ben shook his head patting the drunk on the back. "Don't talk like that. You are still young after all. Imagine the bigger possibilities in life."

Walters shrugged off his words with another gulp of his booze. He rested his head on the table as his vision slightly blurred from the sudden drowsiness. "By the way, where are those two?"

"They are with Elsie and Edwards," Ben replied trying to take away the brandy bottle. Though it seems that Walters still had enough wit about him to react quickly enough and keep it all for himself. "Ain't boozing bad for doctors on the job?"

"Isn't drinking heavily bad for you considering the health concerns I displayed to you last time in your general checkup?"

"It's none of your business."

"As your doctor, it actually is," Ben explained in a matter of fact tone. That did not help any as it only seemed to encourage Walter to drink more. "I swear, one of these days Walters you are going to be in serious trouble with the New Order because of these bad habits."

Everyone in the room suddenly heard Walter's buzzer go off. He looked at his digital pad and saw an alert to be summoned. He woozily got up on his feet, barely able to stand straight and began to walk for the door with the wall's support. Ben helped the man along asking. "What happened?"

"I need to go take care of something. It popped out of nowhere."

"Sure," Ben replied in understanding as he looked back towards the others. "I guess we will all just wait here."


Edwards walked in front of the group with his happy go lucky attitude marching onwards. He led the group of Simmons, Carolina and Elsie toward the garage. Though both Elsie and Edwards were saddened by their time together coming to a close, they both still understood. And while on the surface the two seemed calm, Simmons knew that this was tough on Edwards. Almost like losing someone close to you, thought Simmons as he saw the small strides Edwards walked in. Life sure has a strange way of throwing things your way and working itself out.

Carolina had worries of her own with Elsie. To her what once seemed like a kind relationship grew into that of a mother and daughter one. Now she felt that she was going to lose that feeling again. No, I have to be strong. She balled her hands into fists and looked away gritting her teeth. I have to be strong for everyone's sake. I can't let my feelings get the better of me. The whole group came to a halt as they found Edwards pointing towards some commotion.

One of the villagers approached the two Blood Gulch soldiers and pointed to a building on fire. "Please, you have to help us. There are two kids trapped in there!"

Simmons looked at Carolina for direction. She quickly nodded her head motioning for the maroon soldier to follow. Why did I even bother thinking that we would to the exact opposite instead of jumping head first into a fiery building? Simmons pondered with the shake of his head. He ran past everyone and looked for the best way inside. Carolina got a fire extinguisher from one of the villagers too afraid to take action. She aimed the extinguisher at a wide opening and said. "On my mark Simmons."

She suddenly fired the extinguisher creating clouds of foam as it slowly put out the fire. She looked towards Simmons and motioned for him to go inside. "Mark!"

Right, Simmons didn't seem to have much confidence in this, but he jumped head in anyways. He would much rather suffer a few burns right now than dislocated joints in their next training session. Carolina rushed in behind him firing at whatever fire stood in their way. They could hear the screams of the kids from atop the beds near the end of the room. Of course they would be there, can't have it be too easy now can we? Simmons jumped through some fire into a safe spot. Carolina was impressed by his agility. He certainly has improved in more aspects than just one.

As she chased after him, he reached the bed first amidst the burning temperatures. Thank god for the built-in air cooling system. Simmons held out his hands for the kids who jumped into his arms. They hugged his neck tightly causing him to choke a little. "Agh, not so tight you little rascals."

Carolina finally managed to reach him and pointed back the way we came. "This is no time to make small talk. Let's move!"

Simmons held the kids tightly in his arms as Carolina led with the fire extinguisher. She was the first to burst out of the flaming building followed by Simmons. The crowd outside quickly cheered and thanked the two. The parents, while exhausted from these events were overjoyed to see their kids safe and sound. Both of them approached the soldiers and bowed their heads to them causing the two to blush. Simmons placed a hand on the father's shoulder and said. "Don't lower your heads to us. After all, you have shown us great kindness as well by letting us stay in this village."

"He is right," Carolina agreed looking back towards the crowd. Finding Elsie and Edwards in this crowd will be a pain, but we better get to it instead of complaining. She gently tapped his arm and pointed towards the crowd. "Let's find Elsie and Edwards and get going to the garage."

Simmons bid them adieu and began their search. Strangely enough after ten minutes of searching in the crowd, they could not find the two. Simmons called up Carolina on the radio and asked. "Any luck on your end Carolina?"

"Nope," she huffed with a tired mind. "Where could they have gotten to?"

Suddenly several of the villagers came running past the two. One bumped into Simmons, and just as he was about to run with the others, Carolina stopped him. "What's going on?"

"They are here, Truth and some other soldiers from the New Order. Apparently it has something to do with the village this time," said the villager as he pointed back to the direction he was running in. "We are going to find out what this is about. But we think it probably is about Walter's death."

"Walter's what?!" Simmons was shocked to hear of the words coming out of the villager's mouth. An alarm went off throughout the whole village. Everyone looked around with a certain sense of fear striking their faces. Carolina did not let this slip by her as she inched closer to the villager and asked. "Why does everyone looks afraid all of a sudden?"

"That alarm is used when something major is about to happen."


Carolina and Simmons looked at one another and decided to follow the other villagers to where they were headed. Running through several streets they finally reached what they had learned to be was the center of the village. The others met up with Simmons and Carolina and stared at the huge crowd before them. From beyond the crowd they could hear a single voice. "These individuals have been convicted of housing some very dangerous and wanted criminals and thus by Equal's orders they shall be executed."

Executions?! They all froze at the thought. The Blood Gulch crew began to slowly make their way past the crowd. "So shall it be this young lad first?"

Young lad? Simmons pondered feeling his heart sink a little. Carolina moved further up only to be stopped by a wall of villager. "Or shall it be this frail old woman?"

Is he talking about Elsie or someone else? Carolina wondered as she tried to push past the people in front of her. She quickly stopped as she saw their pictures up on display. We are the criminals he was talking about? Before them was a stage with Truth walking back and forth on it. On the stage aside from Truth were two New Order soldiers. Truth aimed his gun back and forth between two figures of varying height on the stage down onto their knees, they were Edwards and Elsie! One of the New Order soldiers stepped in closer to Truth and whispered something in his ears. "Ah, I see. This should be interesting."

There was also another person with the New Order's group. A factory worker from the looks of it, but Washington instantly recognized the man. That's the guy I interrogated at the factory before. The factory worker stepped forward with his hands joined together and head low in anxiety. "Sir, about our deal."

"Don't you worry about that bud, you will be taken care of very nicely once this is done."

"But sir, you said that once you had them in custody you would let me and my family off of this planet!" the worker shouted quickly realizing that this deal may not have been what he thought of it to be initially. Truth turned to the worker with one of his eyebrows up in agitation. "This sounds like you are ordering me."

"What? Nothing of that sort sir."

"It sounded like he was ordering me, did that sound like it to you guys as well?" Truth inquired turning to his colleagues. The both looked at one another and nodded back to Truth. "Good, one less deal to worry about then."

"What do you mea-"

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

"No! Sir, please don't!"

"I'm sorry, I thought I just made it implicitly clear that I don't take orders from villagers like you," Truth answered pushing the worker away towards the other villager. The others backed away scared at what was to follow.

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

"You bastard!" the worker finally shouted his honest thoughts towards Truth. He began to run towards the man and suddenly his neck and head exploded alongside the collar. Edwards could feel himself losing control as he screamed at the top of his lungs. Fear and panic was beginning to settle in. Elsie shouted for Edwards to look away, but the boy was too scared and fixated on the dead body. The whole Blood Gulch crew was frozen in horror at the gory event that just transpired, and some of them even did their best to hold back the urge to throw up.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Simmons mouth dropped wide open as he saw Edwards' collar blinking. How could things have fallen apart so quickly? He tried to push past those in front of him to get to the boy. I can't let him die! But he was stopped by Grif and the others. "Calm down dude, you are no match for them!"

"Shut the fuck up and let me go!" Simmons rebutted shoving Grif off of himself and pushing past the crowd.

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

No! Simmons froze in fear. He felt powerless against this small yet deadly slave collar. Carolina felt the urge to jump out and tear down this display of cruelty, but she was held back by Washington. He didn't like this any more than her, but he managed to keep a logical mind and understood that the odds were stacked against them. Carolina couldn't afford to see the tears streaming down Elsie's face. She couldn't afford to match her eyes as she looked around in desperation, looked around for a savior. "Someone save him!"

BOOM!

All went silent. Simmons felt all of his strength in his legs leave him as he fell on his knees. Elsie could feel her heart fasten at the blood and gore splatters by her side. She could feel Edwards' fresh blood stain on her right cheek. With widened eyes in horror, she felt her lips quiver and for the first time in a long while, she felt hatred for the New Order rise to a whole new level than before.

"You monsters!" she shouted only to meet a quick end at the hands of Truth's alien sword. She was beheaded. Truth swung the sword around getting rid of any blood on there. "It's always messy work killing you lot, but I suppose someone has to do it. May as well be someone who can enjoy it at the same time, wouldn't you slaves agree?"

Carolina felt her time freeze all around her as she saw the fallen head on the ground. She could feel as if the eyes looked directly at her, they peered deep into her mind mocking her weakness and helplessness. Wash held up Carolina from falling just like Simmons, but instead something unexpected happened. Elsie's death tapped into her uncontrollable rage as she let out a scream of a wild and vicious animal. She pushed past Washington and the others, and so did Simmons.

Carolina managed to jump one of the New Orders soldiers and began to throw random but ferocious blows. Many of which were missing the soldier. Dammit, she is too worked up! Washington jumped in the middle of the fight to help her. Simmons chased after Truth with Grif following them soon after. The second New Order soldier was held back by both Donut and Sister.


"Simmons, wait!" Grif shouted running out of the village in heavy breaths. Where did he get all this anger from? It sure would have been useful against the Meta in the past. Simmons chased Truth through the factory doors and into the industrial department. Truth looked back and with a smirk he folded up his helmet on top of his head. "Someone sure got inspired from that display!"

"Stop running you fucking coward!" Simmons shouted finally cornering the killer. Truth stared at the wall in front of him and noticed the thin bridge they stood on. To think I would run all the way here into this corner. I guess I got swept up in the fun a bit too much. He turned around to face Simmons who was already ready to fight. "Judging from your tone before, you think you are some warrior of justice that has been victimized don't you?"

"Fuck you!"

"Oh, did I touch a nerve there?" Truth pondered quite entertained at the reactions he received. "You know, you are not special. You think you are the only people who have been victimized? On top of that you act the same as we do. We are no hypocrites unlike the UNSC dogs. All of us act on feelings of hatred."

"I thought I told you to shut the fuck up!" Simmons shouted throwing a strong left hook, an upper cut that was followed by a strong right hook. All of them imbedded with his full strength, and all of them made a loud and visceral noise upon contact. Simmons brought his fists in close to create a defensive stance only to notice Truth standing still. The enemy stretched their shoulders and spoke. "Gotta say bro, that is a mean right hook you got there."

Simmons' fists lowered a little as did his confidence. Truth balled his right hand into a fist and raised it up to Simmons' jaw level. "But I have a meaner right fist!"

With a powerful hit to the jaw, Simmons went tumbling down to the floor. How? With one hit he managed to bring me down to the ground. Simmons tried to get away from him but was quickly stopped by a kick to the ribs. Truth bent down to look at the soldier face to face. "So, feel like giving up? Personally I would prefer it if you didn't as it would make for a good work out. You see, I haven't had anyone to fight in a long while."

Simmons tried to get up but was stepped on. "Good, struggle! Fight back with all your might! And so when you realize your failures, you can finally see just how weak you are!"

"Screw…you!" Simmons shouted fighting against the force Truth's boot exerted. Truth decided to let go of him out of pity and said. "So it seems as if the geek has some fight left in him after all. What was it that brat called you, 'tech buddy'? So let's see how good the nerd is in a fist fight."

Grif walked on the walkway above the two observing the fight closely and looked for a way downwards. Who the fuck designs a building like this? He pondered looking for the best way to jump down from. Simmons threw several fists Truth's way all of which missed. Calm down Simmons, you have got to take it slowly, he thought to himself as he threw a wide swing only for it to be blocked. Truth could not help but grin under his helmet at the fruitless efforts. Let's give you a little lesson in fighting. Truth deflected Simmons' arm. He bent down to his chest level and delivered a firm strike with his palm. Simmons was forced backwards and quickly he felt a volley of punches to his abdomen repeatedly.

Coughing heavily under his helmet, Simmons felt his whole body weakened and no longer able to stand as easily. He used the hand railings on the side to try and pick himself up again, but he was quickly knocked back down. Truth let out a slight aura of dominance and overconfidence. "The way you shouted before made you seem like you would be some badass or something. I guess you are all talk and no action."

"Now is the perfect opportunity for us to jump down," Gamma advised and Grif agreed with one foot already on the railing. "Hey jackass!"

Truth looked upwards towards Grif who had taken off. He fell atop Truth who was unable to handle the weight. "Killing old people and kids is not cool!"

With some struggle, Truth managed to knock Grif off of himself. He looked down at the orange soldier with a 'come at me' attitude and laughed. "Says the man grovelling on the ground like a dog."

Simmons jumped him from the behind, but failed to get the drop on him. Truth bent downwards, spiralled behind Simmons and kicked the maroon soldier in the knee. Simmons fell to the floor with a grunt and felt a heavy blow to the side of his head. Truth held out his alien sword and activated it with a menacing stare. "What say we make this more entertaining?"

"Uh Simmons, any ideas?" asked Grif.

"Hell if I know."

"Great," Grif replied sarcastically quickly scrambling to make distance. Simmons and Grif stood side by side and slowly backed away with every step Truth took to approach them. He swung his sword around wildly, and left several bruises and marks on the surroundings in the process. I guess we will deal with the lemon here first, Truth thought staring towards Grif. He rushed in fast and led with a piercing strike. Grif managed to avoid it thanks to Gamma's aid in timing.

"Grif!" Simmons shouted in worry only to be elbowed in the face. Truth approached Grif who was shuffling backwards. "Uh Simmons, help!"

Suddenly the maroon soldier jumped Truth from the back and did his best to hold him down. "Now Grif! Let's take him down!"

Grif came running in with his gun drawn and fired several shots at his head. All of the bullets deflected off of Truth's helmet causing both the Blood Gulch soldiers to worry. No way, all of the bullets didn't even scratch his armor. What the hell is this crap made of? They both wondered as Truth suddenly stood up and pushed Simmons's off of himself.

"Now Lemon man, let's keep this fight between us like men."

Grif noticed the raised sword and narrowly dodged it. Shit, Gamma, any plans? Grif continued to narrowly escape the tight grasps of death, but with every swing Truth seemed to be getting closer and closer. Unfortunately I cannot do anything in this situation but to help project an escape route, the fragment responded causing Grif much irritation. "Oh that's some grade A bullshit dude!"

Truth swung at the cables holding up a certain segment of the bridge and cut them clean. From the suddenly momentum they could tell that section of the bridge was about to give out. It needed all of the cables intact to support their weight. Truth waved to Grif as he kicked him away and walked off of that section of the bridge. "Adios Lemon man."

The other cables snapped and the bridge fell to a lower level! Grif fell down with it as Simmons stood up and watched helplessly. "Grif, no!"

Truth ran towards Simmons and tackled him away. He then kicked him hard in the abdomen and said. "Pay attention to what matters the most right now geek, me."

Simmons threw several punches at Truth's chest and face. Some of which he even managed to make contact with, but as expected none of them made a dent on him. If anything, it only made Truth more determined to strike down Simmons. The maroon soldier was becoming more frustrated by his lack of strength. Truth could tell the building weakness in his opponent through the growingly rushed and sporadic fighting style. "That's right, you are weak. If you weren't, then you could have saved that yellow friend of yours. But what could you have done if you couldn't even save one small child."

"Shut up!" Simmons shouted with a wide back handed swing. Truth ducked and quickly took the attacking arm in his free arm and aimed the sword with the other. Simmons froze in spot as he felt the cold chill of defeat in his spine. Is this really it? Am I really going to die here? Or maybe this is perhaps a sign that I'm going to go join Edwards and Elsie in death now. No, I can't die here!

"Hey asshole!"

The two looked towards the voice. From up above them stood the orange soldier who said. "I'm not yellow, and the name ain't 'Lemon man', it's Grif and you are about to get your arse kicked!"

Grif jumped down and held Truth in spot. Simmons took the opportunity to rush in and kick the sword out of Truth's hand. Truth gritted his teeth but still kept his composure. Losing the sword advantage is no big loss. I can still pummel you two to death. He began to shake Grif off of him, but the more he tried the more resistance he found. Simmons punched Truth to the left, and then to the right!

Truth turned back cracking his neck and said. "You better hope your next few hits kill me because there is going to be hell coming after this. Truth be told I have gotten bored so I plan on ending this quickly."

"Like you are in any position to gloat," said Grif further holding down Truth. Simmons again punched the man left and right, but none of the punches had any effect on him. If anything, Simmons was the one feeling the pain of his fists pounding away against the metal helmet. Grif began to move Truth close to the edge and threw him over. But before Truth could hit the ground, he activated his jets, a detail that didn't escape Simmons' attention. He took out his pistol and began firing towards Truth. Several of the shots landed a perfect hit thanks to Eta's help.

"You idiots never learn, bullets are pointless against me!"

We will see about that, Simmons jumped downwards blocking Truth's way. The two began to engage in close quarters combat. Each would throw a fist, but only one would make the intended effect that it should have. Simmons again found himself on the losing end. But he could also see that Truth's movements were slowing and he was starting to breathe heavily. Simmons caught the glimpse of some red and orange colors of a deadly liquid down below, they were standing on a bridge crossing a large pool of molten steel.

Is this heat affecting him? Simmons wondered getting the edge on his enemy. Truth reacted far slowly to the punches and kicks Simmons dished out. He managed to land several more blows and Truth could do nothing about it. Truth even at one point kneeled in fatigue. I need to get away from this area. Damn this armor, he pondered trying to stand up. But everytime he would make some progress, he would be kicked back down by Simmons. "Grif, help me!"

"Yeah, yeah I'm on my way!"

Truth finally stood up and head butted Simmons down to the ground. Oh fuck! Simmons looked at Truth who was slowly walking away leaning against the handrails. But he was quickly stopped in his tracks with Grif blocking his path. "So, how does it feel to be backed into a corner child murderer?"

Truth quickly drew a laser pistol on him and stretched out his other hand in the air. Grif backed away drawing his pistol. But Truth's laser pistol was shot away by Simmons who managed to get the jump on Truth. He tried to bring Truth down to his knees again, but failed and received a dangerous blow to the head. Truth jumped backwards and kept his hand stretched out. This magnet had better work. He could then hear something coming their way. With a wide smile he knew that once it reaches him, he will stand a higher chance at victory considering their current circumstances.

As Grif helped Simmons onto his feet, he saw the alien sword approach Truth's hand. The enemy soldier laughed loudly shouting. "You idiots should have killed me when you had the chance! Now I will take my time dismembering you all limb for limb!"

The sword suddenly fell out of his hand. Truth looked at Simmons with a shocked expression. Thanks Eta, thanks to your help we stopped him for now. Simmons lowered his pistol as Grif tackled the man over the railing. Truth held on for his dear life as he slowly climbed over and held Grif hostage. But Truth began to lose his battle against the heat. It drained his strength. He began to lose his grip on the railing and fell over towards the molten steel. Grif fell over with him but managed to get a mediocre grip on the bridge right at the last moment. "Simmons, help!"

"Hang on Grif!" Simmons shouted rushing over to help the soldier up. Truth saw that the orange one had survived. Equal will not be ple-, Truth stopped mid thought to look behind him. His jets, they weren't working. What is going on? This shit isn't funny! He again activated the jets but only the lightly pressurized ones seemed to be working, and they weren't enough to hold his weight up in a gravity affected area. Why are the jets destroyed? Suddenly he remembered back to when Simmons shot at his back. No, his goal was never me but the jets?! Dammit! This fucking shit isn't funny at all! He looked at the molten steel, the excruciatingly hot liquid that was only a few centimeters away now. The temperature was so strong that it induced the feeling of burning alive in his mind.

Simmons looked over the railing at Truth helplessly flailing in the air. This is what you deserve. Truth made contact with the molten steel and a loud and painful scream filled the whole room. Truth was flailing in the liquid for his very life. But his struggle was pointless. No one could help him now. Simmons could feel some bile rise up in his mouth at the burning figure in the pool. Truth continued to scream for help down to the very last breath he took. Soon, he too was gone in the thick liquid. The maroon soldier turned around and slowly sat down onto the bridge.

"Holy shit, we did it!" said Grif catching his breath and slowly crawling over to the alien sword. He looked at it and activated the artifact. "Woah! Sweet, so this is what having this alien sword feels like."

Simmons stared at the ceiling motionless, shaken and slightly content with his actions. All those that died at his hand unjustly can now be completely at peace…right? Simmons himself wasn't so sure. He could feel his jaw shake from the adrenaline calm down. The rush that once possessed his body was slowly leaving him and making him aware of the true situation.

Simmons took out the cellphone Edwards gave to him as a gift and stared at it with shaky hands. I actually killed someone. But I didn't do it because I wanted justice for all those that died at his hands. I did it because I wanted…revenge. This murderous rage inside me that acted as my fuel and I openly accepted it. Simmons felt a little sick to the stomach thinking about it. Grif noticed that Simmons was still in shock and reached out to place a firm grip on his shoulder. "Dude, stay with me. Say something."

There was no response. Simmons simply continued to stare up at the ceiling lost deep within his own thoughts. Grif now looked very worried as he shook the maroon soldier even more. Over the radio he quickly contacted the others. "Um, guys, I think Simmons is broken."

"Don't go around saying that about me," Simmons shook off Grif's hand as he slowly stood up. He took one last look towards the molten steel and there was no trace left of Truth. Was I in the right to do this for revenge? He began to run out of the factory with Grif right behind him. Killing him wouldn't make Edwards or Elsie come back to life. So what did I really do this for then? The two managed to make it out of the factory in one piece. In the distance they could see the others who happily ran towards the two.

"Where is that bastard?!" Carolina shouted trying to storm past Grif and Simmons. But she was stopped by Washington who argued. "Calm down Carolina, we can't just rush in. We need to get as much info as poss-"

"He is dead," Simmons muttered in a low and tired voice. Carolina felt her whole body go numb at the words. "How?"

"He drowned in a pool of molten steel! Can we get off the depressing talk already?" Grif complained raising the alien sword. "Check out what I managed to nick off of him."

"Oh, now you are like a jedi!" Donut exclaimed in an attempt to liven the mood. But no matter what, it was clear that no amount of positive words or actions could just fix this situation. Time was needed, especially for Simmons and Carolina.


"This is terrible sir," the New Order staff member said faced with Equal in his office. The dreaded news Equal no longer wanted to hear was delivered. Yet another person close to him was now lost. Equal sat still with his head low, he could feel the enormity of said news crushing his skull. Justice stood by his side just as bewildered and disheartened. She felt her heart slow down and a certain sense of fear came knocking. She has not felt fear in a long time, but just from the soldiers they considered B-class, she felt it from their actions down on the planet.

Equal shivered in his chair. He too was afraid, and he was afraid right down to the core. No matter how you look at it, this was not only a major loss for the New Order, but also one for Equal and Justice. They are all a family to one another after having lost theirs in the UNSC attack several years ago. Equal gripped his hands tightly, so tight that it felt like he would crush them. "How and where did it happen?"

"According to our drones in the air, it happened in the factory near the village he was visiting. As for how," the staff hesitated to continue any further under the threatening glare of Equal. The whole room went silent expecting more and under the pressure the staff member finally caved. "From the last bits of footage we received from Truth's armor live feed, we were able to determine that it was two of the people from our wanted list of invaders. I believe they called themselves Grif and Simmons."

The staff member cleared their throat as they saw Equal's gaze harden and teeth grit together. They could feel a certain amount of tension build up in their forehead from this dangerous aura. "Um sir, to add to my previous statements, it seems as if the whole village there was responsible for helping the criminals. From our ex-informant, the factory worker, we were told that the village helped them heal after their crash on the planet, fed them and kept their presence a secret from us."

Equal smashed his hands on the desk causing slight dents on the two points of impact. He looked down at his trembling arms. His mind was a volcano of rage right now. "Those criminals…have they been chased down?"

"We had a backup team on standby should anything happen. We gave the signal to send them in and they reached the location in a timely manner. But-"

"But?"

"Um sir…they um…managed to escape."

That was it. That was the last restraint destroyed. Equal jumped over his desk and punched the messenger down to the ground. He raised his metal arm and smashed the messenger's nose. Blood splattered onto the once clean metal floor. He continued to beat the messenger in the face, breaking several teeth, jaw and cheek bones in the process. He kicked the unfortunate person in the ribs easily causing several punctures in their lungs. The messenger struggled to breathe begging for their 'benevolent' leader to stop.

"You come to me with news of Truth's death and expect me to stop!" Equal demanded lifting the messenger up above his head and smashing his back down onto the ground. Everyone in the room could hear a loud crack from the victim's spine. No matter where the messenger looked, his friends remained all still with their heads low and eyes diverted. Why won't anyone help me? Was all he could think, now unable to speak at all in fear of pain. The metal limbs made quick work of the messenger and just as Equal felt he was about to deliver the final blow, he was quickly stopped by Justice. She held him back from delivering a smashing blow to the messenger's heart.

"Stop Equal, control yourself!" she shouted as he pushed her backwards. "Control myself? Control myself?! And how am I supposed to do that when our own soldiers are so incompetent that they can't track down a group of murderers who were there only moments before them!"

Equal pushed Justice even further back and shouted. "Our groups of highly trained soldiers all seem to be dropping like flies around them at the hands of what we could hardly consider soldiers. How is it that we are so weak?! No, I have had it with such incompetency! All of you are a fucking disgrace to everyone in the New Order!"

He took a moment to take in deep breaths. He looked all around and in another fit of rage, he held his table tightly and threw it to the side. Everyone in the room was shocked by this display. Equal looked down at the ground with bloodshot eyes. This display of weakness is unacceptable. I will not let them make a mockery of us anymore! He turned back to the other staff members and said. "Relay these orders without fail, or else you will end up like your friend on the floor here."

"W- What are your o- orders, sir?"

"Purge the village found guilty," Equal demanded as he motioned for them all to leave. Justice stopped them from doing so causing Equal another great cause for anger. "What are you doing Justice? Do you dare to stand in my way?!"

"Please Equal," she begged moving closer to him. He took a hold of his alien sword by his leg and she immediately stopped. He is dangerous right now. She backed off but his threat was not enough to keep her quiet. "Reconsider what it is you are saying! You want to punish the whole village for the mistakes of a few? Does that not sound like the cries of a madman?!"

"Me, a madman?" Equal was amused at her words, but at the same time considered them to be the words of a traitor. "Listen well Justice. Those villagers you claim to be innocent are no less guilty than the ones directly involved with sheltering and feeding the enemy. They knew of their presence in the village and yet they chose to keep quiet about it from us. They kept it quiet from me, the same person who granted them a reason to still exist after what the UNSC did to us! They are no simple villagers now, they are all branded traitors."

Again the whole room was quiet. The only sounds audible in the room were that of the opening door, and the gasps of the medical workers here to pick up the messenger. Equal glared at everyone in the room asking. "What are you all still here for? You have your fucking orders, now go and execute them unless you want to give me reasons to put you all in the hospital as well!"

"We are sorry sir!" the staff members apologized as they pushed past the medical workers and into the elevator. Justice stared at Equal with a cautious gaze. He is becoming too much of a loose cannon. I need to bring him back under control. She helped the medical workers put the messenger onto a stretcher and carry him away. Justice stood in the door frame and looked back to Equal saying. "Equal, there are limits to what you are allowed to do both as the head of this Order and as a human being."

He remained quiet.

"You went too far. I expect for you to make some sort of amendments for this."

He remained quiet.

"Say something for crying out loud!"

"What do you want me to say when I am in the middle of mourning for our friend's death?"

"Truth's death hurts me as well, but that doesn't give you right to beat a man half to death," Justice argued back earning an inconsiderate glare her way. Equal scoffed at her saying. "What do you know? You never did get along all that well with Truth so I don't expect you to understand."

"Equal!" Justice shouted silencing the whole room. Equal turned around to look at her understanding the gravity of her tone. "Since when did our own people become enemies for you to eliminate?"

"The weak deserve every bit of beating they get from me."

Justice walked in close and studied him from head to toe. "The weak deserve it you say?"

"Yes."

Equal was quickly forced to the ground. He didn't even notice her attack and now he was pinned in an unfortunate position. He struggled against her grip but failed at making any sort of progress. "So then since you are weak against me, it would be fine for me to beat you half to death would it not?"

Equal remained quiet and felt her voice tear him up a bit. He could feel his body shake a little from the fear her voice instilled in his mind. But quickly he regained composure with a small grin. "It would work if I weren't the head of the New Order. Even if I don't say anything, don't you think the people would react violently and label you a traitor?"

"I'm disappointed to hear such words out of you," Justice said getting off of him. He slowly picked himself up rubbing his back. She walked towards the door and said. "To think that you would stoop to such corrupt means of operating the New Order is disappointing to say the least. We created this New Order to help do things the right way, without using corruption. Although our actions of the past aren't necessarily noble either, and there are some things that are definitely regrettable. But our goal is to eliminate corruption within the UNSC, but now you dare use it here yourself. It makes you nothing less than a hypocrite."

Justice walked into the door frame and let out a heavy breath. She looked back one last time and said. "You better figure out the difference between your allies and your enemies Equal, because we may not always be here by your side."


The Blood Gulch crew looked towards the village that aired another siren. Washington looked at it tiredly wondering, what is it now? The others began to make their way for the village when they were approached by Muffins and Ben. "Ah my Blood Gulch hoomies, we need to use our legs to run away now ja!"

"What's going on?" asked Donut following the others. Ben looked back at the group with a terrified expression and said. "There is about to be a fallout. This alarm is only played when someone really bad is about to happen."

"How bad are we talking here?" Grif questioned only to then see a few ships from the factory beginning their ascent into the sky. "Oh, so the 'very fucked' kind of bad."

"All of you have to get out of this village!" Ben shouted back as he led them to a helipad where there was a helicopter ready. "Go to the village at the coordinates I have given to Captain Muffins. The people there will be willing to help you. They are one of the major villages in the growing rebellion against the New Order. Remember, that as long as they see a mutually beneficial relationship, they will help you no matter how difficult the task, especially when it pertains to the New Order."

"What about you?" Wash asked helping Carolina on board. Private Buttmunch and Boyscout started the chopper and inputted the coordinates. Ben looked back towards the village and up to the battleships. "Don't worry about me. My place is here in this village. Also here, it was supposed to be a little parting gift from Walters."

Ben handed Wash a compact device. He looked at it with curiosity and looked at the good doctor for an explanation. "All Walters ever told me was that this device can help you fight more easily against the special armor worn by a select few in the New Order. Their armor is weak to extreme heat, so this device makes use of high heat temperatures to be used as a weapon."

"Everyone strapped in?" Private Buttmunch questioned looking back. Only Wash was left standing up as he gently placed the device besides Carolina. He looked up at the battleships. I have a bad feeling about this. He looked back to the doctor stretching out his hand. "Last chance doc!"

Ben lowered his head with a smile and shook it. "My choice has already been made Agent Washington. Take good care of yourselves. It is unfortunate that we must part under these circumstances, but life sure has a strange way of working things out."

The helicopter slowly arose into the air and began to gain altitude. Washington and the others looked back towards the village. We are sorry for all the pain that we have brought onto this village, was the thought going through their heads. Captain Muffins peeked his head into the cockpit and saw that the GPS had already planned out a route for them.

"Oh my god," Wash whispered unable to contain the shock in his voice. Everyone in the heli looked towards the village. Above it hovered the three battleships. Onboard the battleship control rooms were ship operators made up of the backup units sent into the village. "Let's do this one quickly people, purge the entire village."

Below the battleships opened several panels revealing many bombs and missiles. Everyone in the village knew what this was. The purge wasn't something the New Order used often, but every once in a while they would do it to either help control population, squash the rebellion or punish the people for their actions in what the New Order perceived to be crimes. This was one of those moments. The whole village was in a mass panic. The main squad leader of the backup New Order unit looked at the village before them and said. "Fire."

Suddenly the ships released several bombs and missiles. All of which made a deafening sound falling through the air and creating several explosions and mushroom clouds upon contact. Wash leaned in closer to the edge unable to believe his eyes at what he was witnessing. This is too cruel. The once peaceful village quickly became a pit of fire. Several were killed by the initial bombardment. But for those left alive, they faced a much worse death, being burnt alive, suffocating and the second and third wave of bombardment.

The whole crew but Carolina and Simmons looked away. The two soldiers decided to engrave this moment deep into their minds to forever remember these feelings of hate and anger towards the New Order. Simmons held Edwards' mobile phone tightly in his left hand with a conviction of stopping the New Order. Carolina turned to look down at the photo she was given before and ran her finger over both Elsie's and Edwards' faces. She bit her lip and promised to do what she believes is right. I will bring down the New Order and avenge you both, even if I have to do it alone.


A/N: So, quite a change in tone wouldn't you say? Me killing Edwards and Elsie off, and practically any other character. Yeah that's right no spoiler tags, especially for those who skipped the chapter. Come at me bro! :P
Anyways, hope you enjoyed it :). Leave your thoughts in the review section, that is much appreciated.~ Monty